...rumor's can be feisty deviants if not tended to with a proper frame of mind. Allow one's concentration wander, and the tiniest exaggeration may sprout wings and take flight, darting about like a bat at dusk...
Throughout the course of my first-ever book signing, several visitors, who's copies I nervously sprawled ink to, mentioned noticing "South of Charm" being advertised on Kindle. I politely shrugged off the notion, assuming they'd been mistaken.
A few hours later, upon returning home following an evening of celebration, I tapped on a few keys, brought up Amazon, and realized the joke was on me ;)
Funny, those publishers of mine, always one step ahead, playing the role of prankster while their writer's attention has wandered elsewhere...
"South of Charm" debuted on Kindle during the eve of my first book signing.
Rumors...sometimes they're nothing more than vengeful chatter. Other times, well... ;)
"...I found my sister in the closet. She was sitting Indian style under the protective covering of both our wardrobes, various designs of cotton or denim mashed together and hanging from a steel rod. She'd shoved a few pairs of shoes to the side, allowing herself enough room for play in the back corner. With the bi-fold doors partially closed, she was all but impossible to see from the entry.
"What are you doing? I asked.
"Feeding 'Becca," she said.
In her arms she was cradling her favorite baby doll, a small plastic bottle shoved into its mouth. Like our mother, I noticed that Katie had spent the day in her nighty. She was barefoot, her curls tangled and twisted like auburn-shaded jungle foliage.
"Why are you in the closet?"
"Mommy's been yelling all day."
"The phone. It ringed and ringed."
I could hear Mom through the paneled wall, her voice steadily rising to a screech.
"I think Kitty's sick," Katie said.
"Huh?" I asked, trying to listen to both my mother and sister at the same time.
"Kitty. She just sits and stares now."
"It's a he, and he's pretty old. Maybe he's dying or something."
It was strange how hearing Mom plead her case to Grandma somehow managed to comfort me. She didn't seem as frightening when I could recognize her voice. When I knew it was really her I was looking at.
"How do you know he's a boy?"
I turned back to my sister, incredulous. "Don't be dumb," I said. "What the heck do you think those fuzzy things are under his butt?"
She considered this for a moment, then said, "Someone knocked on the door too."
My head on a swivel, I asked, "Who was it?"
Katie shrugged her shoulders. "Don't know. Mommy said to stay here. They knocked, then left."
"Mom didn't answer the door?"
Mom's voice was rising and falling through hills and valleys, normally what happened before she'd start crying. She'd go from pleading her case in a pitch similar to Katie's, to dropping her tone deeper than anything Dad could ever muster, all in the same breath.
"She's getting mad," I mumbled.
"See why I'm here?" Katie said, glancing up from her doll. "It's quiet in closets..."
"South of Charm."
Thanks for reading ;)